Gaslighting at work, if you’re a woman in the workforce, chances are you’ve encountered gaslighting at some point in your career. For those not familiar with the term, gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which the abuser undermines their victim’s reality by making them question their own memories, perceptions, and judgment. In other words, it’s a way of manipulating someone into doubting themselves and their abilities.
Unfortunately, gaslighting is all too common in the workplace—especially for women. A recent study found that nearly half of professional women have experienced gaslighting on the job. And while it can be difficult to deal with, there are ways to protect yourself from this type of emotional abuse. Here’s what you need to know about gaslighting at work and how to respond if it happens to you.
Gaslighting can take many different forms, but some common signs to look out for include:
- Your boss tells you that you’re “too sensitive” or “overreacting” when you voice a concern.
- Your colleagues constantly interrupt you or talking over you in meetings.
- You’re regularly asked to do things that are outside of your job description without being given any credit for going above and beyond.
- You’re given contradictory instructions or told that your memory of events is wrong.
- You feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells and second-guessing yourself.
If any of this sounds familiar, chances are you’re being gaslit at work. And while it can be difficult to deal with, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
1. Keep a written record: Whenever possible, keep a written record of conversations, emails, and any other interactions you have with your boss or colleagues. This will give you something to refer back to if you find yourself questioning your memory or perception of events.
2. Gaslighting at work ,Seek support from trusted colleagues: Talk to colleagues who you trust about what’s going on and ask for their feedback. Chances are they’ve noticed the gaslighting too and can provide much-needed moral support during this difficult time.
3. Don’t hesitate to call out bad behavior: If someone at work is gaslighting you, don’t be afraid to call out their bad behavior—even if it’s your boss! The best way to do this is by using “I” statements (e.g., “I feel like my concerns are being dismissed”) rather than accusatory “you” statements (e.g., “You’re making me doubt myself”).
4. Have difficult conversations: If possible, try to have difficult conversations in person rather than over email or other written communication channels. This will allow you to gauge the other person’s body language and see if they’re truly listening to what you have to say.
5. Build a case : Gaslighting at work, If you feel like you’re being undermined or belittled at work on a regular basis, start documenting each instance as it happens. Gaslighting at work, This will give you a solid foundation should you decide to speak with HR or take further legal action later on down the road.
6. Take care of yourself: Dealing with gaslighting at work can be extremely draining—both mentally and emotionally—so it’s important that you take care of yourself outside of the office as well! Make sure to schedule some time for activities that make you happy and relax your mind (e.g., reading, spending time outside, yoga, etc.)
7 . Gaslighting at work ,Seek counseling: If the situation at work is starting to affect your mental health , consider seeking counseling from a licensed therapist or psychologist . Talking through your experiences with someone who isn’t involved in the situation can help put things into perspective and give you some much-needed relief.